ISO Question

Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
56
Trying to show the morning sunlight coming through clouds and lighting up part of the landscape. Some electric power lines got washed out in the shot. Was my ISO setting too high?

Camera Info
Device: Nikon D750
Lens: VR 24-120mm f/4G
Focal Length: 75mm
Focus Mode: AF-S
AF-Area Mode: Single
VR: ON
AF Fine Tune: OFF
Exposure
Aperture: f/6.7
Shutter Speed: 1/1500s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: +1.0EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Center-Weighted
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 1600
Flash
Device:
Image Settings
White Balance: Auto1, 0, 0
Color Space: sRGB
High ISO NR: ON (Normal)
Long Exposure NR: OFF
Active D-Lighting: Low
Vignette Control: Normal
Auto Distortion Control: ON
Picture Control
Picture Control: [LS] Landscape
Base: [LS] Landscape
Quick Adjust: 0.00
Sharpening: +4.00
Clarity: +1.00
Contrast: 0.00
Brightness: 0.00
Saturation: 0.00
Hue: 0.00
DSC_0163.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
19,756
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
It appears that the brightest parts of the image have no detail. That indicates that the scene was over exposed. However, you might be able to recover those details during post-processing if those highlights weren't blown. It's generally best to use an exposure that doesn't blow the highlights. That's because they can't be recovered. Lost detail in the dark tones are more easily recovered even if doing so increases noise.

You asked if the ISO is too high. The exposure, as you probably know, is made up of three parameters: ISO, shutter speed and aperture. You didn't need the 1/1500 shutter speed even if you were hand holding the camera. The f/6.7 aperture is probably pretty sharp on your lens but you probably could have gone to as small as f/11 and achieved the same sharpness while reducing exposure. And as you mentioned, you could have reduced the ISO.

However, reducing the exposure might not have solved the problem of the disappearing power lines; it's possible that they would have disappeared even with a proper exposure. That's because the scene is a very bright light as the background to a relatively very small object (the relatively tiny power lines). Even so, reducing the exposure certainly wouldn't have made that problem worse and it might have solved it.

Hopefully you shot a raw file and can reduce its exposure in post-processing software. A raw file will generally allow more flexibility with making that adjustment than a JPEG.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
56
Kinda like holding up a piece of rope in front of the sun-the light is just too bright. I took the raw file exposure down to -5 and the line is still washed out. I agree on too much for the camera.
I'm still learning.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
19,756
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I took the raw file exposure down to -5 and the line is still washed out.

While I agree that it's a very difficult situation for the camera to resolve, reducing the exposure during post-processing isn't proof that that is the sole problem. If reducing the exposure didn't bring out detail in the brightest area, that's because you over exposed the bright areas to the point that no detail could be recovered. That's more of a photographer problem (we have all been there and done that) than a problem that is too much for the camera. If, on the other hand, reducing the exposure did bring out detail in the brightest area and the power line still disappears, that's entirely a camera problem of not being able to resolve the detail.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
29,103
Location
Moscow, Idaho
Without your permission I made a few quick and changes using DXO-Photo Lab. Rescued what I could from the bright parts of the sky, opened up the dark areas and brightened the mountain. Just to show what is hidden in the image.
Cheers.

DSC_0163_DxO.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
563
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Chris
If you have the raw file available I’d love to play with it and see what’s there. Shooting a direct into the sun shot can be particularly hard at first, until you learn the tricks so to speak. As stated previously, it’s much better (and easier) to bring detail back form an underexposed shot that to dial it down from an overexposed one. Next time, expose for the brightest part of the sky and bring back the shadows in post. Or, even better.. learn how to shoot a HDR shot. It’s really quite easy, especially in Lightroom. If you aren’t sure how to do these, reach out and I’d be happy to teach you
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
2,765
Location
Winter Haven, florida
Sorry, user error. There are areas here that are just blown out. The data is gone.
You mentioned you are still learning, heck we all are- especially me. Only been doing this 50years and still make dumb mistakes every outing.
A couple of questions on your settings.
Are you shooting raw?- It does give you the most control in post.
VR on, with a shutter speed of 1/1500 at 75mm. May be overkill.
Aperture and shutterspeed are your choice, your art. But 1/1500, 6.7 is not a common setup for landscape.
Exposure Comp +1.0 That may be why the highlights are blown out.
Color space sRGB. Color management is another big kettle of worms. If you are going to print some like adobe rbg better. It is just different, depends on your post processing. sRGB is a smaller color space. Just make sure you understand why you made the decision you did. Again, I am "assuming" you are shooting in raw. If in jpg mode ignore the color space question.
Active D-lighting? I never used it, but I understand is not used if you are shooting raw. It can effect your exposure. I am an old fart, and just turn all this stuff off so the camera does what I want it to do.

None of these are wrong, but all need to be chosen for a reason. As we learn, each of these settings will change our outcome.
Likely the exposure comp of +1.0 did add to the data loss in this image.
Gary
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
19,756
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
sRGB is a smaller color space. Just make sure you understand why you made the decision you did.

It is SO good to see your comment highlighted by me in a bold font, Gary. I have always used sRGB exclusively for sound reasoning that has been entirely thought through. The reasoning is sound for me and my situations but would not be sound for everyone in every situation. I normally don't discuss it because the very large and vocal crowd that insists that wider color spaces are more appropriate for everybody in every situation too often becomes obstinate and rude when discussing the subject. That explains why I won't even consider discussing this in more detail here.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
24,352
Location
SW Virginia
Your camera (D750) has about the greatest dynamic range capability of any 35mm DSLR made today (11.5 eV at base iso of 100). But at iso1600 the DR is only about 8eV, so you have greatly decreased its capability with that choice.

That is a very high dynamic range scene and is probably beyond the capability of even a D750 to capture in a single exposure. The only way to preserve details in both highlights and shadows in a scene like that is by taking multiple exposures at different settings and stacking them, as pointed out in some of the previous responses.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
19,756
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I'm not convinced the wires would remain visible throughout the scene even with an ideally exposed image or an image that is ideally made from a composite of many images. That's because I've seen situations like this -- bright sun light shining directly toward me that sort of wraps around a small object such as a small branch of a tree -- where the sun obliterates the small object to the human eye.

I've never looked up the physics of light for an explanation of why this happens. I've never looked up the capability of the human eye's ability to resolve such scenes. I also don't remember whether a high-end camera has more or less resolving capability than the human eye.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
56
I agree with a lot of the comments here. I was traveling early in the day to an appointment 180 miles away from home. I stopped and took a quick snapshot of what I saw. I would have used different settings had I not been pressed for time. I usually shoot landscape at ISO 100 with the lens stopped down and use a tripod with a remote release. The bright/dark areas in this shot....wow....a good camera/photographer test. I agree I could have done better.
 
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
3,139
Location
Cornpatch
This same phenomenon is harked by the we-never-went-to-the-moon conspirators when discussing the réseau plate feducial markers in the lunar-surface images being washed out.

f0537.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
56
If you have the raw file available I’d love to play with it and see what’s there. Shooting a direct into the sun shot can be particularly hard at first, until you learn the tricks so to speak. As stated previously, it’s much better (and easier) to bring detail back form an underexposed shot that to dial it down from an overexposed one. Next time, expose for the brightest part of the sky and bring back the shadows in post. Or, even better.. learn how to shoot a HDR shot. It’s really quite easy, especially in Lightroom. If you aren’t sure how to do these, reach out and I’d be happy to teach you
I'll share the RAW file. How can I get it to you? What is your Email address?
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
19,756
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I was traveling early in the day to an appointment 180 miles away from home.

If I had been in that situation in a rush and 100% on my game (the latter rarely happens), I would have set the camera before putting it in the car to Aperture Priority, Aperture f/8, Auto ISO including whatever minimum shutter speed would be needed to handhold the camera, and exposure compensation to zero. Those settings would have prepared me for quickly taking landscape shots.

After taking the first shot, I would have quickly checked the histogram. If the image wasn't ideally exposed, I would have adjusted the exposure compensation and repeated that process until I had at least one ideal exposure. All of that would have taken just seconds, which needs to happen not just because I would have needed to get to my appointment but also because of the potential for rapidly changing light that might quickly become less desirable.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,977
Location
UK
..... Was my ISO setting too high?

Aperture: f/6.7
Shutter Speed: 1/1500s

Exposure Comp.: +1.0EV

ISO Sensitivity: ISO 1600

Color Space: sRGB
ISO setting too high - Probably as you have now lost approx 5 stops of DR including the exposure compensation. So your D750 has an approx. DR range of say 12 stops and you are now down to 7 stops. If you had used the cameras native ISO 100 (?) then metered and compensated for the highlight (say +3EV) then you may have had much more to play with in the shadow areas while still being inside camera clipping point.

For landscape shots try to shoot at native ISO (100?) put the camera on a tripod and use a release. Also shoot in raw rather than JPEG. Under the conditions you were shooting at you would arrive at an exposure around 1/60 sec f/8 for a similar result, but if you had metered the highlights (spot meter) and adjusted to compensate for highlight then you would have been able to retain much more shadow detail utilising the cameras maximum dynamic range.

It is possible that you would still need to bracket to bring up the shadow detail to a desired level.

Using raw setting sRGB or Adobe RGB is irrelevant as it is ignored.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
24,352
Location
SW Virginia
ISO setting too high - Probably as you have now lost approx 5 stops of DR including the exposure compensation. So your D750 has an approx. DR range of say 12 stops and you are now down to 7 stops.

Actually only 8 stops per Bill Claff's measurements, but that's sort of quibbling. I say "sort of" because a stop is a doubling of light as we know. So a loss of four stops means the DR is reduced by a fraction of 1/2^4 = 1/16.

i.e. the camera sensor can collect roughly 1/16 as much light without unacceptable noise at iso 1600 vs iso 100.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom